With Better Stakeholder Management Deliver Better Projects

With Better Stakeholder Management Deliver Better Projects

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI® ), the term project stakeholder refers to, ‘an individual, group, or organization, who may affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision, activity, or outcome of a project.’  In simple words, stakeholders are those who are proactively associated with the project and whose interests are directly or indirectly impacted by the success or the failure of the project. Therefore, developers, IT support team, marketing team, vendors, customers, competitors, government and even the society can be considered as the stakeholders of the project.

The Stakeholder management is an important aspect of project management. When you manage and have a good control over your stakeholder’s requirements / expectations, you surely get good benefits out of the project. Although Schedule, Cost and Quality of the project are the most important aspects of project management, however satisfying the needs / expectations of the stakeholders is also utmost important. Moreover, it is a continuous process which starts from the initiation up-to the closure of the project.

There are three important elements in Stakeholder Management;

1.      Stakeholder Appreciation

2.      Stakeholder Communication

3.      Stakeholder Engagement

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1.      Stakeholder Appreciation 

Always be polite and calm with your stakeholders. With this attitude you will be able to understand and conclude what various stakeholder offers and how important they are.  Ignoring them at any stage of the project may cause serious or irreparable damage to the project.

Following are some of the guidelines about how to appreciate your stakeholders:

  1. Respect your stakeholders and build trust that will develop long lasting relationship between you as a project manager and the stakeholder.
  2. Understand the importance and the position of the stakeholder by knowing the past experience or their involvement in the project.
  3. Never underestimate the ability of a stakeholder.Make sure to acknowledge your stakeholders for their work and responsibilities that they took to complete your project.
  4. Make sure to acknowledge your stakeholders for their work and responsibilities that they took to complete your project.
  5. Stakeholders who help you to manage your project till completion, like vendor, subcontractor, supplier, consultant, etc. – treat them as your partner in success. Along with commercial transactions, do acknowledge their contribution with affection and respect.
  6. Show a positive attitude towards the information provided by your stakeholders and never underestimate it. As a project manager learn how to use this information wisely.

2.      Stakeholder Communication

Plan your communication with your stakeholders. Make sure your communication medium and tone is appropriate as the message you are trying to communicate with your stakeholders. For example, if you’re trying to sell your product to your customer then the advertising message must be well directed and informative as per the target audience.

Keep all your communication well documented for future reference. Another most important thing, as a project manager, one needs to keep all the stakeholders on the same page and well informed. Poor communication could result in delays in decision making, misunderstandings, affecting the project schedule, cost estimates and the stakeholder satisfaction

3.      Stakeholder Engagement 

This activity helps you involve stakeholders to take responsibility and ownership of the tasks of the project. This in return enables you to complete the project smoothly.

  1. Be open and honest with your stakeholders, this develops a feeling that they are the part of the project.
  2. Get them involved in your think-tank group, this makes them proactive and risk management becomes easy.
  3. Keep them updated regularly and also let them be informed about the negative news related to the project deliverables as per Project communication plan & Project stakeholder management plan.

Keep stakeholders on the front foot of the project. This gives you effective results and better outcome. In short, always remember to give appropriate appreciation to your stakeholders along with efficient communication that leads to proactive involvement of your stakeholders.

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